Thursday, October 27, 2011

Going Crazy

"There's no place like home...There's no place like home...There's no place like home!"  Help me I've been sucked up in a funnel cloud and can't get out!  Have you ever been so consumed when busy becomes blown out of proportion by stress, health issues, family responsibilities, kid's sports,church, community and even weather that you feel like you've been flushed?  You name it, and I'll guarantee it's got its claws in me right now.  I want so bad to write, but there's no time except when I've no longer got anything to give.  I'm about to yell Kalgon take me away! ...for crying out loud.  Not sure I spelled that right, but any of you old enough to remember the commercial know how desperate that makes me.  It's been three weeks since my last blog post, not because I have nothing to say, more because I don't want to bore you with senseless dribble, which is about all I would have been able to manage.
     I tell you what's nice though, ...is where I live.  My most favorite time of the year is fall, and it's here, and for a bonus, my home is located on August Street and out my front window is a mountain painted with a fierce array of color.  The morning air takes my breath away, football is in full swing, and I have the greatest family I could ever hope for to bless my life. 
     Once or twice a week I manage a few minutes to work on my second novel.  I've had the manuscript finished for two years now, but haven't yet gotten it to where I'm completely satisfied with it.  Now, just when I thought all I had left was to tighten it up a bit, I've been flooded with ideas that will enhance its feel, but not having the time to get them down is killing me.  I'm praying for tons of snow, bury us neck deep so the only things left for me to do are plow, sleep and write. 
     Search For Yesterday is doing well, ...I think.  I don't really know how to gauge it, but I still get the occasional blog order, and run into people here and there who have bought elsewhere and read it.  I do about three signing events a month which is nice as I'm able to become acquainted with readers.  I really should stop complaining huh, and count myself blessed just to be able to have such a cool opportunity, but my impatience is a proving to be a problem.  I've decided to get an agent, and see if him/her pitching my work to some bigger publishers might move this wheel along a little more to my liking.  If you know anybody good, I'd love to hear from you.  I'll be querying, (submitting samples of my manuscripts) to as many credible agents as I can in the next month and then wait to see what happens, cross your fingers for me please.
     Sorry, time's up, ...my football coaching duties are calling.  Thanks for following me, I hope you're all well as the holiday season nears.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

"The Promise"

As I  left the Granger City Park parking lot after my 8 year old Andrew's football game yesterday, traffic quickly grew congested and it became clear we would  be a while getting through it.  On our right, walking as slow and feebly as traffic seemed to be moving, an elderly man caught our attention.  Dressed in a worn, long sleeved over shirt, gloved hands, and carrying a tattered plastic garbage bag barely able to hold the blanket and sundry personal belongings visible through its transparent sides, he walked with a tired hitch, but seemed intent on getting somewhere no matter how long his crawling pace would take.
     "Does that man need help Dad?" Andrew asked over his shoulder from the passenger window out of which head, both elbows, and chest were hanging as he occupied his boredom with distractions of the busy street.
     "I don't know, ...he's old, but he looks like he's getting along ok," I replied.
     "His stuff's gonna fall out of that bag I think," Andrew returned, "...we should see if we can help him."  Having already lost my morning to the "all time consuming" involvement in Andrew's football team, I grumbled silently, not sure what more I was willing to give at the moment, but my little boy's eyes held steady, piercing mine and reaching all the way into my reluctant heart.  Before I realized what I was doing, I was turning the car from traffic and into an abandoned convenience store parking lot.
     "What are we gonna do Dad?" Andrew's eyes beamed, "...are we gonna help him?"
     "Call to him and ask if he needs some help."

     "Hey Man!" he called from where he hung out the window, "...can we help you?"  I was surprised by Andrew's uncharacteristic candor, he's normally overly reserved when it comes to strangers, but he seemed free of reservation as he addressed the old man and waited his response. Finding a bill in my wallet, I tapped Andrew's hip, which apart from his legs and feet was the only part of him still inside the car.  Glancing back he took the money and immediately held it out toward the approaching man.
     "You're very kind young man," the stranger said, taking his offering and leaning  to peer into the window at me.  "Thank you sir," his eyes glistened complimenting a pleasant smile, "...you have a fine boy."  He patted Andrew's head and turned away.  For a long moment, I stayed, watching him go and contemplating what had just happened.  The sound of Andrew's questioning voice brought me back to reality, as while tapping me on the shoulder he asked anxiously...,
     "Is that doing our duty Dad?"  That's when it all made sense to me.  You see, recently I was asked to lead a den of beginning Cub Scouts, and in our first meeting during the week, Andrew had learned the Cub Scout Promise.  "I promise to do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country.  To help other people and to obey the law of the pack."
      Less than an hour earlier, when responding to an irritated coach in defense of his not making a false start call when several players on the line shifted prematurely, a game official yelled back...,
     "Come on coach?  They're only eight years old, ...what do you expect?" 
     To that, I now must say enphatically, I expect more!  When we as adults fail to recognize a child's ability to learn and implement values such as duty and accountability, whether it be in home, at school, or on a sports team, we also fail them in life.  In the past six weeks, our little players, as young as they are, have learned the rules of football, and understand the consequences for breaking them.  After less than an hour, learning and discussing the parts and meaning of  "The Promise" each boy makes when he joins the Cub Scouts, my little boy has become the helper of the needy, the protector of the week, and for at least one old homeless man and myself, ...an example of proper humanity.   
     Maybe this week, the rest of us can be more on the lookout, quicker to act, and someone because of us will find their going a little bit better.